March 24, 2007

The Spectral Social @ the Clinton Hotel (WMC, Night Two)

Friday night seemed the perfect night to stay confined to Miami Beach, so we went back across the causeway, refreshed and re-upped and spent the rest of the night walking up and down the strip (strips, really). The beach is a monster with mythic aspirations, crawling with every form of beauty and degeneracy staking out its own space from which to confront the mundane. It’s also the perfect place for Winter Music Conference to really sprawl out into the street as well - adding its own mix of nasty and nice to the cauldron.

When it comes to WMC on the beach, there seem to be two basic types of party- free / cheap ones that take over hotel lobbies and exclusive ones at the trendy-ass velvet-rope clubs (Nikki Beach, the Pearl, the Opium Garden, Cameo). When it comes to these latter parties, we quickly realized that a press pass or badge is more a hindrance than an advantage - after all, if we let you in, we can’t get away with insisting on a two-bottle charge (where a bottle costs $200).

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At any rate, our first target was the Spectral Social @ the Clinton Hotel, featuring Matthew Dear, Ryan Elliot and Seth Troxler alternating, tag-teaming, corroborating and confounding each other to create an astonishingly seamless mix. I can’t think of a time I’ve ever seen more fun up in the DJ booth - the party seemed to emanate from the outrageous antics of the party-throwers, rather than the party-goers. The tracks thrown down by this six-limbed DJ defied the narrow view of Spectral as monochromatic minimalists with a bass fixation. The bass-heavy frenzy was there, all right, but there was plenty going on all across the (forgive me) spectrum. Extra points awarded for the girls who made up their own special dance, the Spectral Shimmy - cyclic rotations of the posterior to soak up extra bass and hand motions inspired by the rattling procession of the high end.

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From gutter to glitter - the low-key fun of Spectral gave way to our misguided attempt to go to Opium Garden for the Tony Humphries / Todd Terry / Blaze event. After a few minutes of standing around behind the velvet rope and observing the ratio of exchange (2 girls : 1 guy in a group to gain admittance, plus the usual necessary fabulosities), plus hearing the complaints of non badge-holders, plus hearing one badge-holder complain that they’d been there for hours, we decided to skip out on the Studio 54-wannabee bullshit and head further down. The same policy (with less interesting potential rewards) seemed to be offered by Nikki Beach & the Pearl, so we did what sensible human beings do. We went back to the gutter.

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Ocean, Collins and Washington offer a number of hotels with open-lounge, free-admission parties that rock until dawn (or close enough). One has to wonder what the actual tenants think of a bunch of freaks dancing on the stairway and in the lobby until 5 a.m.- or perhaps these rooms are only advertised amongst those for whom heavy, throbbing bass during their sleeping hours is something of a tonic. We did witness one middle-American family leaving their hotel room amidst typical beach insanity in the wee hours, tempting the headline : ‘4:15 A.M., South Beach : Wife Will Put Up With Bass No Longer’

The Chesterfield, Chelsea and Marlin Hotels all had parties with varying sounds and degrees of success, with a bit of patio and sidewalk overflow (well, except the Chelsea, which was dead). And while it wasn’t quite the dancing in the streets promised by Berlin’s Love Parade, there was definitely enough action to encourage me to think of coming back to the beach after today’s Ultra action. Plus, there is promise of Spank Rock & the Rub later tonight…

[Mallory O’Donnell]


September 29, 2006

The Rice Twins - Reach for the Flute

Plangent three-track EP on the somewhat puzzling Kompakt sublabel K2. Whatever the K2 raison d’etre might be, the Rice Twins are filling a much needed role with this lush soundtrack to a night of summer city driving with the windows down and a loved one by your side. “For Dan” evokes a wistful, romantic tone; “Rome” gets the blood racing a bit quicker as we merge onto the freeway, and the slightly wacky / nervous “Poppers” plays as you arrive at the club and surreptitiously smoke a joint in the parking lot.

K2 / K2/16
[Listen]
[Mallory O’Donnell]


September 29, 2006

Charts: September 29 2006

Guest Chart: Kiki

Mr Gone - Do 4 Love (Radio Slave Remix) [Rebirth]
Henrik Schwarz - Imagination Limitation [K7]
Stefan Goldmann - Sleepy Hollow [Innervisions]
Lazy Fat People - Shinjuku [Wagon Repair]
Jamie Jones - The Capsule [Freak n Chic]
Latex - The Porcupine [Rebelone]
Underworld - Pig Play (Buick Project Mix 2) [White]
Shonky - Closer to Pluton [Resopal]
Kiki - Trust Me [Bpitch Control]
Martin Buttrich - Full Clip [Planet E]

Todd Hutlock
InBetween DJs - Horns in the Attic [Wallshaker Music]
Raudive - Ultraviolet [Klang Elektronik]
Marc Houle - Edamame [Minus]
Andrea Parker - Ballbreaker [Mo’ Wax]
Cobblestone Jazz - India In Me [Wagon Repair]
Metope - I’m So Ready (Sleeparchive Remix) [Areal]
Christian Dittmann - Buena Decision [Echocord]
Paul Kalkbrenner - Queer Fellow (Ellen Allien & Apparat Remix) [Bpitch Control]
Fraktion - This Fever Works [Resopal Red]
Thomas Melchoir & Luciano - Father [Cadenza]

Mallory O’Donnell
Morgan Geist - Crash Tracks EP [Metamorphic]
Daso - Daybreak (Oliver Koletzki Remix) [My Best Friend]
The Rice Twins - Reach for the Flute EP [K2]
Putsch 79 - Doin’ It Remixes [Clone]
Scarlet Smears - Spitfire [Blank Start]
Lindstrom - It’s A Feedelity Affair [Smalltown Supersound]
Scissor Sisters - I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ (Linus Loves Remixes) [Polydor]

Michael F. Gill
Chris & Cosey - Walking Through Heaven [Rough Trade]
Rammellzee vs. K-Rob - Beat Bop (Instrumental) [Profile]
Ahzz - New York Moving [Land of Hits]
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly Soundtrack [Curtom]
The League Unlimited Orchestra - Love and Dancing [Virgin]
Legowelt - Bonn 1978 (Discodubmix) [Legowelt]
Dilo vs Gurtz - Piedras (Dandy Jack and the Latin Elvis Remix) [Roman,Photo]
Cohen vs Deluxe - Just Kick! (Carl Cox Mix) [Intec]
Kevin McKay - Summer Breeze [Muzik/Glasgow Underground]
V/A - Idol Tryout Two [Ghostly International]


September 22, 2006

Charts: September 22 2006

Todd Hutlock
The Rice Twins - For Dan [K2]
Donnacha Costello - 6.3 [Minimise]
Mathew Johnson - Beach Party [Wagon Repair]
Nitzer Ebb - Shame (Derrick May Remix) [NovaMute]
Porter Ricks - Port of Call [Chain Reaction]
Afternoon Coffee Boys - Busted Speaker Brew [Clink Music]
Thee Madkatt Courtship - Da Mindfuck [Deep Distraxion]
Sami Koivikko - Dore [Spectral Sound]
Limaçon - Ajar [Intrinsic Design]
Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It [Trax]

Nate DeYoung
My My - Butterflys and Zebras [Aus]
Audion - Mouth to Mouth [Spectral]
Heidi vs Riton - Vejer [Get Physical]
Cobblestone Jazz - India in Me [Wagon Repair]
Donato Dozzy - Dimensions EP [Dozzy]
Jona - Tizia [Get Physical]
The Rice Twins - Reach for the Flute [Kompakt]
Sleeper Thief - Chasing You [Mobilee]
Madonna - Get Together Remixes [Virgin]
Justus Kohncke - Advance [Kompakt]

Cameron Octigan
Alice in Chains - Dam That River [Columbia]
Dominion - The Light of Day [unknown]
Jan Jelinek - Im Discodickicht [~scape]
Jesu - Your Path to Divinity [Hydrahead]
JPLS - Program 01 [M_nus]
Limp Wrist - Just Like You [Lengua Armada]
MDK - Rohe Gewalt [Weird System]
Putsch 79 - Doin’ It (Putsch 79 Edit) [Clone]
Rex the Dog - I Look into Air [Kompakt]
Ricardo Villalobos - Que Belle Epoque 2006 [Frisbee Tracks]

Michael F. Gill
Voigt & Voigt - Was Du Willst [Kompakt Extra]
V/A - Dashammer Remixes [Max.I]
Gusgus - Mallflowers [Pineapples]
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (Instrumental) [EMI]
Phreek - May My Love Be With You [Atlantic]
Dalton & Dubarri - I (You) Can Dance All By My (Your) Self [Hilltak]
Moment of Truth - So Much for Love [Salsoul]
V/A - Historical Archives Volume 2 [Members Only]
Gino Soccio - There’s a Woman (Carl Craig Re-Edit) [Moxie]
Munich Machine - Bolectro [Casablanca]


August 25, 2006

Charts: August 25 2006

Guest chart: Pellarin
Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch [Rykodisc]
Depeche Mode - Precious (Michael Mayer Belearic Mix) [Mute]
Printer - Satisfaction [Unreleased]
Andre Kraml - Get Me Now [MySpace.com]
Gui Boratto - Like You (Supermayer Mix) [K2]
D?dsfald - Vs Sly [Unreleased]
Artful Dodger - Rewind [London Records]
Richard Davis - This Time [Kitty Yo]
Markus Nikolai - Bushes [Perlon]
Liebe Ist Cool - Hymn [Electric Avenue]

Todd Hutlock
Audion - Mouth to Mouth [Spectral Sound]
Battant - Jump Up [Firewire]
Ican - A Quien [Planet E]
Lima?on - Kunk [Intrinsic Design]
Justus K?hncke - Overhead [Kompakt]
Elektrabel - Bing [6277]
Adam Beyer - Stereotypes [Cocoon]
Claude Vonstroke - The Whistler [Dirtybird]
Hieroglyphic Being - Letters from the Edge [Mathematics]
Tortoise - Gamera [Duophonic]

Ronan Fitzgerald
Gus Gus - Mallflowers [Pineapple]
Sweet N Candy - Tacky Wakeup (Dominik Eulberg Mix) [Raum Musik]
Sleeper Thief - Chasing Rainbow [Mobilee]
Hug - Hearki [K2]
Claude Vonstroke - Beware of Bird [Dirtybird]

Michael F. Gill
Daybreak - Everybody Get Off [Prelude]
The Jammers - Be Mine Tonight [Salsoul]
Crazy Gang - Every Sunday [Bubble / Flexx]
Neuro - Mama [R&S]
Mara Branco, Julian Sandell, & Henry Cullen - Funky [4 X 4 Recordings]
Renato Figoli - Serontonin Smile [Gumption]
Dinky - Home on a Sunday [Horizontal]
Sweet N Candy - Nutty as a Fruitcake [Einmaleins Musik]
Luomo - Really Don?t Mind [Huume]
Akabu - Phuture Bound (?me Remix) [Z Records]


August 11, 2006

Giorgos Gatzigristos - Skip Tutorial

“Wherefore art thou Kompakt bangers?” To thread: “Skip Tutorial” bends and breaks over a phantasmic pulse. Heavy reverb and disintegrating beats run throughout along a synthesized Rhodes. On the other side, “Sloensje” brings the listener back closer to the K2’s usual output, if only a little. Gatzigristos privileges melody and sound over movement, an approach perhaps more admirable on headphones. But with the mix trend towards Hawtin and Magda’s liquidating of contemporary techno’s most valuable assets into 30 second clips, someone can easily find that much peak time here.

K2 / K2/13
[Listen]
[Cameron Octigan]


July 28, 2006

Steadycam - Dull in Minor

Ronan Fitzgerald: Steadycam releases another massive sounding record on K2, after the excellent “Knock Kneed.” His bizarre style, faintly retro, but not pillaging from the same eras as everyone else, continues to bear dark techno fruit. “Kidney Issues” is probably his most accessible track to date, brutally simple glam-house. The title cut is more similar to the minimal techno of his previous releases, with the trademark dry and heavy sounding Steadycam snare riding over some lush 303 and keyboards that would probably sound more at home on Kompakt proper rather than K2.

Cameron Macdonald: Please don’t mistake the title track for Italo-disco. Consider it the soundtrack to an after-school TV special for when the troubled teen protagonist cannot decide between suicide, dope, calling his ex- and then hanging up, or hiding in a fort built out of couch cushions. On the flip, “Kidney Issues” fits well with Kompakt’s reputation for minimal techno hypnosis, Steadycam autopilots a ceiling fan-chug of a rhythm on his electro-synth and trots on a steady, up-tempo stomp. Its droning, locked-groove could have veered off-road and into a cornfield just to keep the music interesting, but it’s better than hiding beneath a pile of cushions.

K2 / K2/14
[Listen]


June 16, 2006

Hug - The Platform

Greg Bird of [Kontrol], a San Francisco minimal techno powerhouse, once said to a friend of mine that “techno is the best when you can’t tell if it’s house or techno.” The Platform is exactly that sort of release … techno, sure, but I’ll be damned if there isn’t a serious electrohouse thing going on at the same time. Opening with titular track “The Platform,” John Dahlbäck booms and bleeps his way through a DJ-friendly intro before loose, electrified snares, (dare I say) pleasantly sloppy, and clear tone swells give way to a beautiful series of electro chimes. A minute or so later, he unleashes a delightfully obtrusive bass that gets things really going, breaking down, and going again. “The Chopper,” which may as well be called “The Stomper,” is a speedy space battle in a damaged ship. Dodging most of the asteroids, and unmoved by the explosions in the distance, Hug flies through the galaxy discerningly blasting enemy ships with his techno lasers. “Faceless is More” is the perfect after-hours, backroom track to calm down after the dancefloor smoke has cleared. Hug shows us the Platform and raises the bar.

K2 / K2 12
[Cameron Octigan]


May 5, 2006

Superpitcher / Stardiver - Speicher 35

Superpitcher re-emerges from the shadows with “Enzian”, a pretty, slow burning piece of emo-house which sounds like label-mate DJ Koze crossed with Border Community. For a producer who has created some of the best electronic records of the current era it’s a bit of a disappointment, in that it seems to fall into that weird “listening techno” vortex that has swallowed up all of Kompakt apart from K2 lately. You can’t escape the sense that the dub:techno ratio Kompakt operate on is really out of sync with the rest of dance music at the moment; so many sticky unlovable, unplayable releases. Stardiver’s “Borderline” on the other hand has some kind of kick to it, sounding a little like something off “Silent Shout”; but the truth is both tracks here are more pleasant than essential.

Kompakt Extra / KOMEX35
[Listen]
[Ronan Fitzgerald]


February 24, 2006

Florent - G-Net

More comedown than come hither, Frenchman Florent Renard presents two pieces: a macabre night driving piece, and something like a techno remix of bad video game music. From the low rumblings of the bassline to the high-end tweets and the Lindstrom synths half way through, “G-Net” is an absolutely solid and dubby track, reminiscent of recent Wagon Repair releases, but not quite made for dancing. However, the b-side, “Ritournell,” does anything but bring to mind Sebastian Tellier’s epic track of very nearly the same name. Opening at a plenty upbeat tempo, Florent drops in an 8-bit sample that forgot to take its Ritalin, and basically the piece comes off like a vinyl copy of the Metroid soundtrack played at the wrong speed. The overall impression is that Florent is trying too many things with not enough variation; two completely different sounds, and each with an explicit teleological approach: start here, do this, end there. However, a less rushed and more focused effort might find itself a home on K1 rather than K2.

K2 / 006
[Cameron Octigan]


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